NEWTON, Mass. (5/5/17) -- The top-seeded Lasell College men's lacrosse team is one win away from its first-ever Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) championship and NCAA Tournament berth, and will host the second-seeded Mustangs of Mount Ida College in its first-ever title game on home turf Saturday at Grellier Field.
Faceoff is set for 1:00 p.m., and the contest can be viewed live at https://portal.stretchinternet.com/lasell/.
The Lasers came from behind to earn a 14-11 win over fourth-seeded Norwich in Thursday's semifinal, their fourth straight and 12th of the season, while the 14-4 Mustangs extended their winning streak to eight with a 16-13 triumph over third-seeded Johnson & Wales.
Senior captain Anthony Saitta (Derry, N.H.), Ryan Madden (Hingham, Mass.), and Austin Shindoll (Denver, Colo.) recorded hat tricks in Thursday's win for Lasell. Fellow sophomore Austin Tomasetti (Elmsford, N.Y.) scored once and added five assists, increasing his season total to 41, good for second in the GNAC. In total, Tomasetti's 60 points lead the Lasers and are fourth in the conference.
The Lasers trailed 5-2 in Thursday's second quarter, tied the game at halftime, and then rattled off seven goals in the third quarter to earn the victory, while senior Jorge Salazar (Waltham, Mass.) made 11 saves for his fourth double-digit effort in the last five games.
Salazar's 8.73 goals-against average ranks second in the GNAC to Mount Ida junior Cam Hayward (Derry, N.H.), who made five of his 16 stops against the Wildcats in the fourth quarter. The Lasers are the league's best defensive team, having allowed 135 total goals over their 15 games, while Ida has allowed 157 in 18.
Lasell was the only team to defeat Ida in GNAC play as it earned an 11-10 win across town on April 6, thanks to four-goal outbursts in both the first and third quarters. Salazar made 18 saves and sophomore Michael Susi (Gorham, Maine) scored three goals on four shots in the contest.
On an individual note for the Mustangs, senior Chad Coehlo (Salem, Mass.) ranks third in the GNAC with 65 points and fourth with 33 assists. Additionally, Hayward's 220 total saves and .608 save percentage stand second, while senior Wyatt Sullivan (Arlington, Mass.) has 25 assists, fifth-most in the league.
Ida has two GNAC championships to their name, second to last year's champion Emmanuel, who holds three overall. The Saints were ousted from the postseason tournament this year by the Cadets in a 9-8 overtime thriller.
The winner of Saturday's game receives the GNAC's automatic bid to the 2017 NCAA Division III Men's Lacrosse Championships, with the Selection Show set to air live Sunday, May 7 at 9:00 p.m. on NCAA.com.